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Archive for March, 2008

I'm baaaack!

March 31st, 2008 at 09:00 am

After nearly a 1 year absence, I'm back!

It's been a hell of a year. Since I last posted in May '07, my mother has died, my aunt was diagnosed with MS, my other aunt had a heart attack, my grandmother almost died from pnemonia, my cousins both go to Northern IL where that shooting was (one of them was IN that room only an hour before the shooting! She's fine although she was shook up, of course).

My mother dieing put us further bhind in our debt repayment. Even though I'm a travel agent we had to spend a fortune in airfare going back and forth from Chicago to Phoenix, and it all had to go on the card. It set us back nearly a year in debt repayment. It was worth it, since I was able to see my mother before she died (it was very sudden) and spend time with my father after her passing. I dont regret spending a dime, but at the same time just frustrating to see all our progress wiped out in a matter of weeks.

The only truely GOOD thing that has happened is that I started to work from home mid June of last year. Our gas bill has droped by over half, between me not driving and my husband taking my car instead of the gas guzzler truck to work. It's actually cheaper for him to drive my car than take the train downtown, if you can believe that! And I"m saving money on lunch and clothes too, so that's another help.

Our tax "stimulus" check will be here next month, that will go to pay for our share of my husband's MRI's (bad knees and back, may need further treatment, thank God for health insurance!) so we can't bank it or put it towards debt. But May is an extra pay check month for us so I'm hoping to put it all towards the CC's, that will catch us up from the airfare we had to charge last fall. IF nothing goes wrong and I can put it towards our debt, we'll have our CC's paid off in about 20 months at our current rate.

I've given up on couponing at the grocery store. We basicly cook from scratch and the coupons are mainly for pre-packaged and processed foods, I found that even with the coupon savings, on average we spent the same amount on groceries and we were eating my processed foods rather than fresh. So I've given up on that. Really, at $100 or so a week for two, that's something like $2.40 per person per meal. That's pretty darn cheap, and we eat a lot of organics, too!

I love cooking from scratch. Husband's birthday was yesterday, I made rib-eye steak, grilled shrimp, sauteed mushrooms, and brussel sprouts (husband's fav veggie, go figure!) for $23 for the two of us. Sounds expensive, but think about what that same meal would have cost us if we'd eaten out? At least double (and we had a ton of shrimp, too, a lot more than what you're served at a restaurant). Home made birthday cake too. $1 mix and home made frosting (not sure what the frosting cost, I used baking supplies on hand. More than canned frosting I'm sure but SO much tastier!). No gift for husband,he didn't want anything, so I splurged on his birthday dinner instead.